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Winter, princess Leia's aide/assistant in the Thrawn trilogy, has "perfect holographic and audiographic memory", and that plays a small role in several points of the story, but it's never explained how or why she has this ability. Is that explained somewhere else in the Expanded Universe novels?

This is not a discussion on whether real people can have the same ability naturally. Even if Winter's ability is natural, I'd like to know if that's explicitly mentioned somewhere.

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    Why do you think she acquired it somehow? There are plenty of stories of people born with photographic memories. – Kevin Jul 2 '16 at 2:36
  • @Kevin Have you read the novels? That's not even in the same ballpark. – Pedro Werneck Jul 2 '16 at 2:55
  • yes, but well over a decade ago. Is there something I'm forgetting that suggests there's more to it than that? – Kevin Jul 2 '16 at 3:03
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    Well, hyperthymesiac memory is real and documented, and while eidetic memory may or may not exist, one could certainly be born with it in a Galaxy far, far away. And remember, when all else fails the correct answer is "the Force." – Adamant Jul 2 '16 at 4:02
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    From the books (and I read almost every pre-NJO book including all with Winter), it was not clearly explained but it seemed like it was a natural talent she was born with. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 2 '16 at 12:42
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There don't seem to be any indications that her abilities are anything other than natural.

Winter's organizational abilities are augmented by the young woman's perfect memory. She can remember whole conversations verbatim, as well as events, times, places, dates, faces, bits of trivia, and anything else that passes before her senses. To her, these memories are like holo-recordings that can be recalled instantly and in total detail. If she experienced it, she can remember it—with every sound, smell, sight, taste and touch intact. Currently, as Leia's aide in the Provisional Council, Winter sits silently beside her Princess and effectively records every word said. Due largely to this unusual ability, Winter was instrumental in the search for "Delta Source," the leak in security in the Imperial Palace on Coruscant.

Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook

And from the old Star Wars Character Databank, her abilities are described as a "talent" and a "gift", implying that they're not artificially induced.

As the Organa family became involved in the growing Rebellion to oppose the Empire, Winter's special talents were invaluable. Winter has a holographic and audiographic memory: she forgets nothing she sees or hears. Bail Organa assigned Winter to the Rebellion's Procurement and Supply division. She was off-planet when the Empire obliterated Alderaan.

Winter's gift became a silent curse as she can never shake the memories of her departed friends and destroyed world. She rarely lets her feelings show, though at times, in private, her grief is almost too much to bear. Her rigid control over her emotions and her no-nonsense approach to her duties have caused some to comment that her name befits her icy personality.

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